In collaboration with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, we are developing an autonomous robotic platform for making continuous radar measurements of snow and polar firn. We are targeting an eventual 6 month deployment in Greenland, in which GRover (Greenland Rover) would be deployed in March and recovered in September. GRover will carry enough solar and wind power generation to remain active throughout the summer field season on the Greenland Ice Sheet. Initial tests are ongoing in Idaho this winter, with possible preliminary tests in Greenland during summer 2012. Stay tuned!
GRover was built during two summers of intensive work by engineering undergraduate students from all over the world, advised by Mike Comberiate of NASA Goddard. Gabriel Trisca, one of the lead students, just finished 2 months of work at BSU finalizing the robot. We recently had our first successful test of all systems on the snow via long-range wireless communications. The final step will be to integrate a satellite modem, so that GRover can be controlled from anywhere and receive diagnostic information.
Gabriel Trisca, Mike Comberiate, H.P. Marshall, Andrew Hedrick, and many summer NASA Goddard engineering interns
NASA EPSCoR (01/2011-12/2013), NASA Cryospheric Sciences Program